Describe a health promotion model used to initiate behavioral changes. How does this model help in teaching behavioral changes? What are some of the barriers that affect a patient’s ability to learn? How does a patient’s readiness to learn, or readiness to change, affect learning outcomes?
Describe a health promotion model used to initiate behavioral changes. How does this model help in teaching behavioral changes?
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As nurses we create behavioral objectives for our patients with the hope that our patients are willing to change, however, in the end it is up to our patients to make the necessary changes. To assess a patient’s readiness for change and success, a nurse can use the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) created by psychologists Prochaska and DiClemente in 1984. According to the TTM, a patient must go through six stages prior to a behavioral change occurring. Precontemplation, contemplation, planning, action, maintenance and termination represent the six stages of change needed. Whether the goal is beginning a new behavior or terminating and old behavior, all six stages apply. This particular model is built on the foundation that by assessing a patient’s willingness to change, the nurse can set the most effective behavioral objectives for her patient (Whitney, 2018).
In your own nursing practice, is it your experience that a patient must go through the six stages before a behavioral change can occur?
What are some of the barriers that affect a patient’s ability to learn?
In order for teaching to be most effective, a nurse must assess the patient’s needs and how best the patient learns. If a nurse is not meeting how best their patient learns, then barriers appear and this affects the patient’s ability to learn. Typically, all patient education starts with some sort of printed material. It is important for the nurse to make sure the material is in the patient’s primary language and no higher than a sixth grade level. A nurse must then ask how does the patient interpret material best? It can be viewing material audio visually, watching demonstrations, returning demonstrations, listening or reading. Then the nurse must ask if the environment is conducive to learning. Is the setting a quiet room, does the patient feel safe and trust the nurse, is the nurse attentive or preoccupied with other tasks, is the teaching session uninterrupted (Nursing, 2013)?
In your own nursing practice, how do you teach a patient that has a language barrier?
How does a patient’s readiness to learn, or readiness to change, affect learning outcomes?
A patient’s readiness to learn and/or change is crucial for a positive learning outcome. The concept of “self-efficacy” or a patient believing that they can meet their goals is necessary for change (Whitney, 2018). In my own practice, I begin every teaching session by assessing my patients readiness to learn by asking them what they know about their health problems and what they think they could do to improve it. I also try to remind myself that many physical and psychological factors in the hospital setting such as pain, fatigue, loneliness, anxiety, fear and depression can affect patients motivation to learn.
In your own practice, how do you help your patient overcome the physical or psychosocial factors that can interfere with the teaching process?
Nursing2013: October 2013 – Volume 43 – Issue 10 – p 1–3
Whitney, S. (2018). Grand Canyon University (Ed). (2018). Health promotion: Health &
wellness across the continuum. Retrieved from